Strikingly beautiful 9th century Hindu Temple which just mesmerised me! Probably the best for me during the Indonesia Trip! This largest Hindu Temple in Indonesia is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Construction of this temple by Sanjaya Dynasty (Mataram Kingdom) marked the return of Hindu power in Central Java and historians consider this an answer to Budhhist’s Borubudur Temple
While Borobudur is one structure, Prambanan Temple is a compound full of temples. Originally there were 240 temples in the complex, primary ones being:
- 3 Trimurti Temples
- Brahma Temple: Temple of Creator of Universe, with statue of Brahma with four faces symbolising four different directions of wind.
- Vishnu Temple: Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, protector of living creatures in universe.
- Shiva Temple: Is the main temple for Lord Shiva, who is considered as God of Gods. The inside of temple has four rooms, each having temples of Shiva, Durga, Ganesha, Agastya.
- 3 Vahana Temples :
- Angsa Temple: Symbolises Brahma’s vehicle, the swan.
- Garuda Temple: Vishnu’s Vehicle, the bird.
- Nandi Temple: Shiva’s Temple, the cow.
Just to get an idea, what the complex would have looked like with ALL the temples, here is a floor plan I got from wikipedia:
Amazing, isn’t it!!
So were all the individual temples…
Every single temple is so intricately built!
The main temples have reliefs depicting Ramayana and Purana
Closer view of the masterpieces of art…
Temples were neglected for a while before Hindu kingdom moved to East Java before it collapsed by earthquake in 16th century. Thomas Raffles found them again in 1811. Restoration began in 1930 and continues till date. Majority of these were destructed in 2006 earthquake. When I visited, there were 18 Temples and the reconstruction work hardly ever stopped since 1980’s here. The reconstruction work is quite evident in these pictures:
And the temples look hauntingly beautiful at sunset!
By far , the best historic monument I have visited 🙂